When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (NIV) John 19:30
The soldiers arrested Jesus, bound Him and brought Him to the officials, to begin His first of six trials. Five times, Pontius Pilate and King Herod declare Christ innocent of the charges brought against Him. But, afraid of a riot breaking out and of being accused of disloyalty to Caesar. . .Pilate goes before the crowd, washes his hands and says “I am innocent of this man’s blood, it is your responsibility!” Pilate sentences Jesus to die by crucifixion.
Crucifixion was the Romans most severe form of execution – so severe, it was reserved for slaves and criminals. The punishment was invented to make death painful and lingering. The cross was not a symbol of faith, but a symbol of failure. . . not a sign of morality, but lawlessness. . . not a symbol of respect, but of unspeakable shame.
Jesus is nailed to the crossbar with 5″ iron spikes driven between the bones of his wrists. Then, 4 soldiers lift the crossbar up, dragging Jesus with it, to fix it onto the upright beam. Finally, Jesus’ feet are nailed in. Jesus responds by saying: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). The sovereign, omnipotent, eternal God, did not threaten, did not condemn, didn’t even pronounce doom on His crucifiers. . .contrary to common sense He prayed for them.
Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion, is at a major intersection outside Jerusalem. Those who passed by stared at the condemned and “hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘Save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!'” (Matthew 27:39-40). . .Come down from the cross – HE WOULDN’T COME DOWN – all this is happening according to God’s pre-determined plan!
The One who is the Creator of life. . . the One who breathed life into those who are crucifying Him, gasped for air. It’s now 3PM – it has been dark since noon – Jesus says: “It is finished.” He’s even in control of His own death. From start to finish, Jesus death had been planned. . .His job is complete.
Contrary to common sense. . .what looked like tragedy, became triumph – while hell was rejoicing. . .God was waiting for His ultimate victory over sin and death. Jesus died that we may live. . .the cross cost us nothing. . .it cost God everything! Have you accepted Christ’s death on the cross as payment for your sins?
Written by Marji “Mike” Kruger